Forests

Forests

Forests have been entwined with human development and cultural history for centuries.

Author: Jaboury Ghazoul

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780198706175

Category: Nature

Page: 150

View: 223

Since the dawn of human civilization, forests have provided us with food, resources, and energy. The history of human development is also one of forest loss and transformation, and yet even in our increasingly urbanized societies we remain surprisingly dependent on forests for a wide range of goods and services. Moreover, forests still retain a remarkable hold on our environmental values. In an era of continuing tropical deforestation and temperate forest resurgence, and in the midst of uncertainties of climate and land use changes, it is more important than ever to understand what forests are, how they contribute to our livelihoods, and how they underpin our cultural histories and futures. In this Very Short Introduction Jaboury Ghazoul explores our contrasting interactions with forests, as well as their origins, dynamics, and the range of goods and services they provide to human society. Ghazoul concludes with an examination of the recent history of deforestation, transitions to reforestation, and the future outlook for forests particularly in the context of expected climate change. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Categories: Nature

Ecology A Very Short Introduction

Ecology  A Very Short Introduction

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly.

Author: Jaboury Ghazoul

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780192566744

Category: Nature

Page: 144

View: 144

Understanding how our living environment works is essentially a study of ecological systems. Ecology is the science of how organisms interact with each other and with their environment, and how such interactions create self-organising communities and ecosystems. This science touches us all. The food we eat, the water we drink, the natural resources we use, our physical and mental health, and much of our cultural heritage are to a large degree products of ecological interactions of organisms and their environment. This Very Short Introduction celebrates the centrality of ecology in our lives. Jaboury Ghazoul explores how ecology has evolved rapidly from natural history to become a predictive science that explains how the natural world works, and which guides environmental policy and management decisions. Drawing on a range of examples, he shows how ecological science can be applied to management and conservation, including the extent to which theory has shaped practice. Ecological science has also shaped social and cultural perspectives on the environment, a process that influences politics of the environment. Ghazoul concludes by considering the future of ecology, particularly in the light of current and future environmental challenges. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Categories: Nature

Plants A Very Short Introduction

Plants  A Very Short Introduction

This Very Short Introduction provides a concise account of the nature of plants, their variety, their evolution, and their importance and uses, stressing the importance of conservation for the future.

Author: Timothy Walker

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199584062

Category: Science

Page: 129

View: 207

Plants are a fundamental part of the biosphere and their evolution has directly affected animal life, and the Earth's climate. This Very Short Introduction provides a concise account of the nature of plants, their variety, their evolution, and their importance and uses, stressing the importance of conservation for the future.
Categories: Science

Buddha A Very Short Introduction

Buddha  A Very Short Introduction

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly.

Author: Michael Carrithers

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 9780191606649

Category: Religion

Page: 128

View: 160

Michael Carrithers guides us through the complex and sometimes conflicting information that Buddhist texts give about the life and teaching of the Buddha. He discusses the social and political background of India in the Buddha's time, and traces the development of his thought. He also assesses the rapid and widespread assimilation of Buddhism and its contemporary relevance. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Categories: Religion

Governance A Very Short Introduction

Governance  A Very Short Introduction

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly.

Author: Mark Bevir

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 9780191646294

Category: Political Science

Page: 152

View: 622

The word 'governance' is ubiquitous. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund make loans conditional on 'good governance'. Climate change and avian flu appear as issues of 'global governance'. The European Union issues a White Paper on 'Governance'. The U.S. Forest Service calls for 'collaborative governance'. What accounts for the pervasive use of the term 'governance' and to what does it refer? It has a bewildering set of answers. The word 'governance' is used in a variety of contexts, but at a general level, it refers to all forms of social coordination and patterns of rule. In this Very Short Introduction, Mark Bevir considers not only the main theories of governance, but also their impact in a variety of areas including corporate, public, and global affairs. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Categories: Political Science

English Literature A Very Short Introduction

English Literature  A Very Short Introduction

Jonathan Bate considers how we determine the content of the field, and looks at the three major kinds of imaginative literature - English poetry, English drama and The English novel.

Author: Jonathan Bate

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199569267

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 179

View: 131

English Literature: A Very Short Introduction discusses why literature matters, how narrative works, and what is distinctly English about English literature. Jonathan Bate considers how we determine the content of the field, and looks at the three major kinds of imaginative literature - English poetry, English drama and The English novel.
Categories: Literary Criticism

Environmental Ethics

Environmental Ethics

Introduces environmental ethics, exploring the values involved in issues such as pollution, habitat loss, and climate change, and considering the different groups involved, including the attitudes of the world's religions to environmental ...

Author: Robin Attfield

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780198797166

Category: Environmental ethics

Page: 137

View: 223

Introduces environmental ethics, exploring the values involved in issues such as pollution, habitat loss, and climate change, and considering the different groups involved, including the attitudes of the world's religions to environmental stewardship
Categories: Environmental ethics

Multilingualism a Very Short Introduction

Multilingualism  a Very Short Introduction

John C. Maher explains why societies everywhere have become more multilingual, despite the disappearance of hundreds of the world languages.

Author: John C. Maher

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780198724995

Category:

Page: 152

View: 916

The languages of the world can be seen and heard in cities and towns, forests and isolated settlements, as well as on the internet and in international organizations like the UN or the EU. How did the world acquire so many languages? Why can't we all speak one language, like English orEsperanto? And what makes a person bilingual? Multilingualism, language diversity in society, is a perfect expression of human plurality. About 6,500-7,000 languages are spoken, written and signed, throughout the linguistic landscape of the world, by people who communicate in more than one language(at work, or in the family or community). Many origin myths, like Babel, called it a "punishment" but multilingualism makes us who we are and plays a large part of our sense of belonging. Languages are instruments for interacting with the cultural environment and their ecology is complex. They candie (Tasmanian), or decline then revive (Manx and Hawaiian), reconstitute from older forms (modern Hebrew), gain new status (Catalan and Maori) or become autonomous national languages (Croatian). Languages can even play a supportive and symbolic role as some territories pursue autonomy ornationhood, such as in the cases of Catalonia and Scotland.In this Very Short Introduction John C. Maher shows how multilingualism offers cultural diversity, complex identities, and alternative ways of doing and knowing to hybrid identities. Increasing multilingualism is drastically changing our view of the value of language, and our notion of the partlanguage plays in national and cultural identities. At the same time multilingualism can lead to social and political conflict, unequal power relations, issues of multiculturalism, and discussions over "national" or "official" languages, with struggles over language rights of local and indigenouscommunities. Considering multilingualism in the context of globalization, Maher also looks at the fate of many endangered languages as they disappear from the world. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, andenthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Categories:

Early Music A Very Short Introduction

Early Music  A Very Short Introduction

In this Very Short Introduction, Thomas Forrest Kelly provides not only a compact overview of the music itself, but also a lively look at the many attempts over the last two centuries to revive it.

Author: Thomas Forrest Kelly

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199831890

Category: Music

Page: 144

View: 815

From Gregorian chant to Bach's Brandenburg Concerti, the music of the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods is both beautiful and intriguing, expanding our horizons as it nourishes our souls. In this Very Short Introduction, Thomas Forrest Kelly provides not only a compact overview of the music itself, but also a lively look at the many attempts over the last two centuries to revive it. Kelly shows that the early-music revival has long been grounded in the idea of spontaneity, of excitement, and of recapturing experiences otherwise lost to us--either the rediscovery of little-known repertories or the recovery of lost performing styles, with the conviction that, with the right performance, the music will come to life anew. Blending musical and social history, he shows how the Early Music movement in the 1960s took on political overtones, fueled by a rebellion against received wisdom and enforced conformity. Kelly also discusses ongoing debates about authenticity, the desirability of period instruments, and the relationship of mainstream opera companies and symphony orchestras to music that they often ignore, or play in modern fashion.
Categories: Music

Fungi

Fungi

The variety of the mycological world is far greater than most people imagine. Some fungi kill trees and ravage crops, and pathogenic fungi can infect animals and even humans. But fungi also play crucial roles in ecosystems.

Author: Nicholas P. Money

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199688784

Category: Fungi

Page: 137

View: 933

The variety of the mycological world is far greater than most people imagine. Some fungi kill trees and ravage crops, and pathogenic fungi can infect animals and even humans. But fungi also play crucial roles in ecosystems. They act as agents of wood decay in forests, and symbiotic relationships with mycorrhizal fungi are vital to many plants. In this Very Short Introduction Nicholas P. Money explains the essential functions performed by fungi, the importance of studying them to contain fungal diseases, and how fungi are being used in agriculture, biotechnology, and medicine. -- from cover flap.
Categories: Fungi

Climate Change

Climate Change

Previous editions published as: Global warming.

Author: Mark Maslin

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780198719045

Category: Science

Page: 187

View: 736

Previous editions published as: Global warming.
Categories: Science

Southeast Asia a Very Short Introduction

Southeast Asia  a Very Short Introduction

Deftly combining historical analysis and geopolitical insights, the book paints a bird's eye view of contemporary Southeast Asia as a community of diverse societies and traditions as well as a politicaltheater-of-action nested between India ...

Author: James R. Rush

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780190248765

Category: History

Page: 160

View: 878

Straddling the equator, Southeast Asia comprises Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, and the Philippines, as well as Laos, Cambodia, Brunei, and East Timor. Despite its extraordinary diversity of ethnicities, religions, and political systems, Southeast Asia plays a keyrole in global economies and geopolitics, especially in light of its strategic position bordering China and India. This Very Short Introduction explores the contemporary character of Southeast Asia's national societies through the lens of their historical evolution, from the eras of indigenouskingdoms and colonies under Western rule to the present's independent nation states. Deftly combining historical analysis and geopolitical insights, the book paints a bird's eye view of contemporary Southeast Asia as a community of diverse societies and traditions as well as a politicaltheater-of-action nested between India and China and tangled in global economic traffic patterns, balance of powers, and environmental forces.As James R. Rush explains, archaic structures, such as religious and ethnic rivalries, tenacious feudal hierarchies, and age-old trade and migration patterns, remain rooted in today's Southeast Asia beneath the surface of modern national governments. The book draws on a wide range of examples fromthe major nations, including the ethno-religious violence in Myanmar, the Muslim-led rebellion in the southern Philippines, the Thai-Cambodian territorial rivalries, the Confucian-inspired governance in Singapore, the military rule and democratization in Indonesia, the environmental consequences ofagribusiness, mining, and unchecked urbanization, and the big-power alignments and tensions involving the United States, China, and Japan. By delving into the cultural, political, and geographical background of Southeast Asia, Rush shows that Southeast Asia is unquestionably modern, but it is modernin distinctively Southeast Asian ways.
Categories: History

Geography A Very Short Introduction

Geography  A Very Short Introduction

Modern Geography has come a long way from its roots in simply mapping and naming the regions of the world.

Author: John A. Matthews

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199211289

Category: History

Page: 181

View: 558

Modern Geography has come a long way from its roots in simply mapping and naming the regions of the world. Spanning both physical and human Geography, the discipline today is unique as a subject bridging the divide between the sciences and humanities, and between the environment and our society. This Very Short Introduction reveals why.
Categories: History

Savanna

Savanna

Here, Peter A. Furley describes the range of ecosystems encompassed in the savanna landscape; their rich wildlife; their impact on humans and their evolution; and the approaches to their conservation and management.

Author: Peter A. Furley

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780198717225

Category: History

Page: 176

View: 471

Savannas form one of the largest and most important of the world's ecological zones. Covering one fifth of the Earth's land surface, they are home to some of the world's most iconic animals and form an extremely important global resource for plants and wildlife. However, increasing recognition of their land potential means that they are extremely vulnerable to accelerating pressures on usable land. This Very Short Introduction considers savannas as landscapes. Discussing their origin, topography, and global distribution, Peter A. Furley explores the dynamic nature of savannas and illustrates how they have shaped human evolution and movements. He goes on to discuss the unrelenting pressures that confront conservation and management and considers the future for savannas. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Categories: History

The History of Life A Very Short Introduction

The History of Life  A Very Short Introduction

This Very Short Introduction presents a succinct and accessible guide to the key episodes in the story of life on earth - from the very origins of life four million years ago to the extraordinary diversity of species around the globe today.

Author: Michael J. Benton

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199226320

Category: Science

Page: 170

View: 141

This Very Short Introduction presents a succinct and accessible guide to the key episodes in the story of life on earth - from the very origins of life four million years ago to the extraordinary diversity of species around the globe today.
Categories: Science

Marine Biology A Very Short Introduction

Marine Biology  A Very Short Introduction

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly.

Author: Philip V. Mladenov

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 9780191654350

Category: Science

Page: 144

View: 362

The marine environment is the largest, most important, and yet most mysterious habitat on our planet. It contains more than 99% of the world's living space; produces half of its oxygen; plays a critical role in regulating its climate; and supports a remarkably diverse and exquisitely adapted array of life forms, from microscopic viruses, bacteria, and plankton to the largest existing animals. As the 21st century progresses human activities, such as overfishing, coastal development, plastic pollution, oil spills, nutrient pollution, the spread of exotic species, and the emission of climate changing greenhouse gases are posing a significant threat to the marine environment and to many of its life forms. In this unique Very Short Introduction, Philip Mladenov provides a comprehensive overview of marine biology, providing a tour of marine life and marine processes that ranges from the polar oceans to tropical coral reefs; and from the intertidal to the hydrothermal vents of the deep sea. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Categories: Science

African Religions

African Religions

For example, the book moves beyond ethnographic descriptions and interpretations of core beliefs and practices to look at how African religion has engaged issues of socioeconomic development and power relations.Sources for this book include ...

Author: Jacob K. Olupona

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199790586

Category: History

Page: 152

View: 275

What are African religions? African Religions: A Very Short Introduction answers this question by examining primarily indigenous religious traditions on the African continent. It focuses on the diversity of people, ethnic groups, languages, cultures, ethos, and worldviews, keeping in mind the continent's regional diversity. Using a multidisciplinary methodological approach, Olupona examines a wide range of African religious traditions on their own terms as well as in their pluralistic social, cultural, and political contexts. Cultural and postcolonial interpretive frameworks benefit the discussion. For example, the book moves beyond ethnographic descriptions and interpretations of core beliefs and practices to look at how African religion has engaged issues of socioeconomic development and power relations. Sources for this book include archaeological and historical references. Additionally, Olupona uses ethnographic materials based on fieldwork collected through interviewsand participant observation, along with archival materials, including missionary records, which describe African religious practices. Though the emphasis is on native faith traditions, these are not static traditions. African religions have responded to changes within their local communities and to fluxes caused by outside influences. About the Series: Oxford's Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects - from Islam to Sociology,Politics to Classics, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology to the Bible. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume in this series provides trenchant and provocative - yet always balanced and complete - discussions of the central issues in a given discipline or field. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how the subject has developed and how it has influenced society. Eventually, the series will encompass every major academic discipline, offering all students an accessible and abundant reference library. Whatever the area of study that one deems important or appealing, whatever the topic that fascinates the general reader, the Very Short Introductions series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable.
Categories: History

Dictionaries A Very Short Introduction

Dictionaries  A Very Short Introduction

In this Very Short Introduction Lynda Mugglestone takes a look at how dictionaries are made, considering how they reflect the dominant social and cultural assumptions of the time in which they were written.

Author: Lynda Mugglestone

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199573790

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 140

View: 525

Dictionaries are far more than works which list the words and meanings of a language. In this Very Short Introduction Lynda Mugglestone takes a look at how dictionaries are made, considering how they reflect the dominant social and cultural assumptions of the time in which they were written.
Categories: Language Arts & Disciplines

Fairy Tale

Fairy Tale

Marina Warner guides us through the rich world of fairy tale, from Cinderella and Hansel and Gretel to Snow White and Pan's Labyrinth.

Author: Marina Warner

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199532155

Category: Fiction

Page: 192

View: 148

From wicked queens, beautiful princesses, elves, monsters, and goblins, to giants, glass slippers, poisoned apples, magic keys, and mirrors, the characters and images of fairy tales have cast a spell over readers and audiences, both adults and children, for centuries. These fantastic stories have traveled across cultural borders, and been passed on from generation to generation, ever-changing, renewed with each re-telling. Few forms of literature have greater power to enchant us and rekindle our imagination than a fairy tale. But what is a fairy tale? Where do they come from and what do they mean? What do they try and communicate to us about morality, sexuality, and society? The range of fairy tales stretches across great distances and time; their history is entangled with folklore and myth, and their inspiration draws on ideas about nature and the supernatural, imagination and fantasy, psychoanalysis and feminism. In this Very Short Introduction, Marina Warner digs into a rich hoard of fairy tales in all their brilliant and fantastical variations, in order to define a genre and evaluate a literary form that keeps shifting through time and history. Drawing on a glittering array of examples, from classics such as Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and The Sleeping Beauty, the Grimm Brothers' Hansel and Gretel, and Hans Andersen's The Little Mermaid, to modern-day realizations including Walt Disney's Snow White, Warner forms a persuasive case for fairy tale as a crucial repository of human understanding and culture. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Categories: Fiction

Biogeography a Very Short Introduction

Biogeography  a Very Short Introduction

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly.

Author: Mark V. Lomolino

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780198850069

Category: Science

Page: 168

View: 302

Biogeography is the study of geographic variation in all characteristics of life - ranging from genetic, morphological and behavioural variation among regional populations of a species, to geographic trends in diversity of entire communities across our planet's sufrace. From the ancient hunters and gatherers to the earliest naturalists, Charles Darwin, Alfred Russel Wallace, and scientists today, the search for patterns in life has provided insights that proved invaluable for understanding the natural world. And many, if not most, of the compelling kaleidoscope of patterns in biological diversity make little sense unless placed in an explicit geographic context. The Very Short Introduction explains the historical development of the field of biogeography, its fundamental tenets, principles and tools, and the invaluable insights it provides for understanding the diversity of life in the natural world. As Mark Lomolino shows, key questions such as where species occur, how they vary from place to place, where their ancestors occurred, and how they spread across the globe, are essential for us to develop effective strategies for conserving the great menagerie of life across our planet. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Categories: Science